Safety Planning

What is safety planning?

Safety planning is an individualized process to reduce your risk of being hurt by your partner. It is different for every relationship. While you cannot control your partner’s behavior, you can find ways to reduce risk of harm for yourself and your loved ones.

In fact, you already have ways you try minimize the risk of violence and/or thoughts of how to respond to potentially dangerous situations. This is the essence of safety planning. The following guide is intended to enhance the planning process you have already begun.

Why do I need a safety plan?

Everyone deserves a relationship that is healthy, safe and supportive. If you are in a relationship that is hurting you, the abuse you are experiencing is not your fault. Regardless of whether you would like to remain in the relationship or not, it is important for you to consider ways to keep yourself safe. While you have probably not used the terminology safety plan, you already consider your safety. The following is intended to be a guide to consider how to keep you as safe as possible.

How do I make a safety plan?

Safety planning focuses on reducing risks. It involves assessing potential scenarios and finding ways to be safe. The following guide offers an outline to enhance the process you have already begun. Take time to read through and complete the safety plan. It is okay if there are sections you do not feel comfortable writing down or which are not applicable. Sometimes it is helpful to talk with someone you trust. If you would like to work with an advocate, contact Belles Against Violence Office at 574-284-4081 or

Things to Remember:

· In order for this safety planning guide to be effective, it must contain personal answers.

· You are the most essential element of your safety plan. Always trust your instincts. You know more than you realize.

· After completing this guide, keep it in an accessible but secure location. Carefully select the safest and most secure location. Consider giving a copy to someone you trust.

Finding support from someone who has experience working with college students who have experienced abuse can be helpful. Belles Against Violence Office on campus is always here for you.

Download a safety planning guide here: Safety Planning Guide

Note: Portions adapted from Break the Cycle (2008).  A college student’s guide to safety planning [PDF document]. Retrieved from